New Practices #72: a_zero environmental architects
The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy
a_zero environmental architects, Kennington, London
Main people: Giles Bruce and Anya Thomas
Founded: June 2010
Where have you come from? We both studied at the Architectural Association, and went on to specialise in different aspects of sustainable design, Giles as an environmental consultant with BDSP Partnership, and Anya working with Architecture Sans Frontières UK.
What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? The idea is to combine our passion for architecture with our technical knowledge about environmental performance. Our last two projects - a large fit-out for an environmental engineering consultancy and a youth club for a local community group, allowed us to do just that. For the future we would like to focus on small to medium sized commissions where energy is a key concern, while also offering environmental consultancy to clients and other architecture practices.
What are your ambitions? The idea of an interdisciplinary practice is very attractive to us. We want to avoid ‘green-wash’ in what we do, and would be very interested include architects, engineers, and other designers who share our belief that environmental and social sustainability should be generators of form, materiality and expression rather than an exercise in post rationalisation.
How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? There were many raised eye-brows one year ago, but we are still here and still working away. One of our strengths is that we are involved in various activities that all feed into one another – teaching in the AA, architectural design and environmental consultancy. Diversity is a good trait these days, so as long as we keep our wits about us, we should be grand.